Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Sunday November 8 2009
7th November 2009
The winless run at home now stands at a record 16 games but we haven`t had a better chance to win a game in that run than on Saturday against Ipswich. Despite going a goal down early on, the Royals put in a fine second half display and had a blatent penalty appeal turned down when sub Shane Long was hacked down in the area.
With Brendan Rodgers naming an unchanged side the Royals fans directed their usual pre match frustrations towards the returning Liam Rosenior, who was on the receiving end of some abuse for his pre match comments about his spell at the club.
The early stages of the game saw both sides shadow boxing, to size each other up but from a long throw in down the Royals right, Ivar Ingimarsson failed to clear properly and Jon Stead, who makes a habit of scoring against us, volleyed into the net. We responded with efforts from Brian Howard and the impressive Gylfi Sigurdsson as Ipswich sat back on their lead, but the best chance of the first half fell the way of Grzegorz Rasiak who headed Jobi McAnuff`s header inches wide of the far post.
The Royals needed to score an early goal in the second half to stop the game dying out and we got just that when Sigurdsson`s cross shot found Simon Church in the six yard box and the Welshman tapped into an empty net.
That goal opened the game up and it was end to end stuff, and Tamas Priskin headed straight at Adam Federici when totally unmarked in the six yard box from Rosenior`s cross. The game continued in that fashion with the two sides exchanging chances with McAnuff and Howard going close for the Royals whilst Damian Delany forced Federici into an excellent save when he latched onto a corner.
We continued to push forward in search of the goal that would end this sorry run at home and when Shane Long was hacked down in the area it looked a clear spot kick. However the ref was the only person inside the ground who thought it wasn`t and immediately Church had the ball in the six yard box and he turned and shot only to see his effort crash off the cross bar. McAnuff followed up and saw his effort cleared off the line and it was at that point you sensed it wasn`t to be our day!
Despite only 1 point, this was the third impressive display in a row from Brendan Rodger`s side and things certainly look on the up. Even dropping back into the bottom three could not dampen the spirits of the fans who left the stadium feeling positive about the performance and in the hope that the run will end very soon, perhaps in the next home game in two weeks time against Blackpool.
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Date:Sunday November 8 2009
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